Updated on September 19th, 2021 at 06:30 pm
The moment of truth is approaching for Barcelona. It’s the moment to tell Barcelona fans that they won’t be able to sign David Alaba this summer for various reasons, such as the fact that Real Madrid agreed a contract with him two and a half months ago. Some say that the player who is finishing his Bayern Munich career is still deciding his future. All that’s left to decide is which suburb of Madrid he wants to live in.
It’s the moment to tell Barcelona fans that signing Erling Haaland is practically impossible because Real Madrid are also quite close to reaching an agreement with the Norwegian. Even if Real Madrid don’t sign him in the end, Barcelona would be fighting at a disadvantage against the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United for his signature. They’d need Lionel Messi to leave first because uniting the two star forwards is something that, and please forgive the repetition here, is outwith Barcelona’s current possibilities. Even if many say that Joan Laporta hopes to sign him, that is just hope.
It’s the moment to explain what it means to tackle a debt of 730 million euros in the short term and the significant consequences this will have on the sporting plans. Before thinking about buying, Barcelona need to sell and sell a lot and sell well. They need to sell players that other clubs are willing to pay for, because the other approach is to give out gifts and that has happened a lot lately. They need to make it clear that the question is whether they sell Antoine Griezmann or Philippe Coutinho or both. They’ll try to lose as little as possible since their salaries of 21m and 15m net euros respectively will be difficult for another club to take on. It’s the same way as nobody wants to pay Gareth Bale’s 17m euros. The players clubs would pay for are Pedri, Ansu Fati or Frenkie de Jong. The second priority for Barcelona, then, after convincing Messi to stay, is to keep these youngsters. Only after that could Haaland come if that’s possible, although it doesn’t look like it.
It’s about telling the fans the truth. That’s Laporta and his board’s responsibility. They should be transparent. However, having seen the drama they went through to get the last of the guarantees to take over, even though they knew they needed this from the first day they stood for the elections, it’s hard to believe that they’ll recognise all of this.